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Should "under God" be removed from the Pledge of Allegiance

 
 
patiodog
 
  1  
Reply Tue 30 Mar, 2004 11:52 am
Thomas wrote:
Nice pledge, Terry! With your permission, I'd add "and to never recite pledges just because everybody else recites them, or because the teacher wants me to do it."

As to the actual pledge under discussion, I'd prefer it if "under god" was removed. But I think the actual rights infringement is so tiny in practice that it should be off the constitution's radar screen. The same goes for "In god we trust" on coins, where I prefer 'E pluribus unum', and for singing "God bless America" in public settings.


An old Steve Martin bit:

SM: And now, let's recite the nonconformist's oath! I promise to be different.

Audience: I promise to be different.

SM: I promise to be unique.

Audience: I promise to be unique.

SM: I promise not to repeat things other people say.

Audience: (murmurs)

SM: Good!



(sorry, off topic. thanks for the info, Thomas.)
0 Replies
 
mesquite
 
  1  
Reply Tue 30 Mar, 2004 04:33 pm
Foxfyre wrote:
Yes it is a very nice pledge and one I would be happy for my children to say. But it also sidesteps the real issue here as to whether a reference to God in the Pledge of Allegience violates the U.S. Constitution. I feel strongly that to forbid school children to say 'under God' is a violation of the First Amendment while the phrase 'under God' is in no way an establishment of religion, no requirement for one to adhere to any particular faith, no demand for one to be religious in any way.

Just because some think that Judaism or Christianity or any other religious faith is "superstitious claptrap", it does not follow that children are in any way harmed by the phrase in the pledge. It would be different if the phrase was "one nation under God of the Jews or God of the Christians".

I maintain it is wrong and harmful and unconstitutional to forbid children to appropriately express a religious belief. At the same time, I again would have no problem if the phrase "under God" was dropped from the pledge out of respect for those who in good conscience cannot say it.

Foxfyre, The following quote was in my local paper's letters to the editor today. I think this person expressed it quite well.
Quote:
Debate over Pledge is battle of words

In the March 28 column "Court fight over Pledge is fanaticism at work" Jay Ambrose alleged that inclusion of the two words, "under God," in our flag pledge is innocuous and that opposition to the two words is "fanaticism." I suggest Ambrose and others consider changing only one word in the pledge. We could change the word "under" to "over" or perhaps to "without." How would Ambrose or his supporters feel about pledging (repeatedly throughout the year) to "one nation over God" or to "one nation without God"? Such a modest mental exercise could help them understand the opposition to our current pledge.

Ambrose might also wish to revisit a dictionary. The word "fanaticism" is defined as: (1) inspired by a deity (2) often marked by intense uncritical devotion. Surely, the proponents of today's pledge are much more fanatic than the opponents.
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Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Tue 30 Mar, 2004 04:36 pm
Heeheeheeheeheeheeheehee . . .



Ah, first class, Mesquite, thanks for the letter . . .
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Foxfyre
 
  1  
Reply Tue 30 Mar, 2004 04:37 pm
Mesquite, the writers point is well taken. Which is why I have been consistent in this thread that I have no problem if the phrase is dropped out of respect for those who, in good conscience, cannot say it.

My quarrel with the whole thing has been that the phrase does not violate the U.S. Constitution and that it should be addressed as a matter of courtesy, not as a constitutional issue.
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mesquite
 
  1  
Reply Tue 30 Mar, 2004 04:49 pm
Foxfyre wrote:

My quarrel with the whole thing has been that the phrase does not violate the U.S. Constitution and that it should be addressed as a matter of courtesy, not as a constitutional issue.

Your opinion is in conflict with the Ninth Circuit. :wink:
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SCoates
 
  1  
Reply Tue 30 Mar, 2004 06:15 pm
Foxfyre, I am a religious person, and I must say, if you think it is not unconstitutional to include a belief of God in the pledge, then you do not understand the constitution. I am not attacking you when I say this, and I point that out since you seem to feel everyone is (and there may be some basis to that), but you do seem to be misinterpreting the constitution. In some areas it is simply not a matter of opinion what is constitutional. For example, I cannot have the opinion that murder is constitutional. In that case in is a matter of whether the issue is true or false, and opinion has no play. You can have the opinion that it SHOULD be constitutional, but you cannot have the opinion that it is. That is a matter of true or false, and in this case is false.
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Terry
 
  1  
Reply Wed 31 Mar, 2004 12:50 am
fishin' wrote:
Terry wrote:
The Constitition specifically prohibits religious tests and oaths, and specifically prohibits the establishment of religion by Congress.


This argument didn't hold on page one and it still doesn't hold here.


I think it establishes the intent of the Founding Fathers pretty well. So what do you think these clauses in the Constitution mean?

The government may not require anyone to publicly endorse a specific religion, which is the only reason "under God" was added to the pledge.
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SCoates
 
  1  
Reply Wed 31 Mar, 2004 12:53 am
If everyone were christian, for example, I think it would be a great idea. But it would still be unconstitutional.
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Terry
 
  1  
Reply Wed 31 Mar, 2004 12:57 am
Thomas, I'm all for a return to "E pluribus unum" as our national motto, since "In God we trust" makes no sense to me. What is it that we are supposed to trust God to do? Protect us from terrorists and natural disasters? Nope. Guide our leaders? Obviously not. Establish universal peace, prosperity, and justice? Umm, maybe we ought to just do it ourselves, since God seems to be too busy at the moment …
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Terry
 
  1  
Reply Wed 31 Mar, 2004 01:22 am
Foxfyre, no one but you said anything about forbidding children to express religious beliefs. What we are talking about is mandating that everyone pay homage to the religious beliefs of the majority. There is no logical reason for a reference to any god in a pledge to a secular country.

Did you read what Eisenhower said when "under God" was added to the pledge? Why do you think that the words "under God" were added, if NOT to establish a national religion?

Do you understand that "God" refers specifically to the Judeo-Christian God? A national pledge stating that this nation is under God excludes American citizens who worship other deities and those who do not believe that supernatural beings have jurisdiction over anything.
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Terry
 
  1  
Reply Wed 31 Mar, 2004 01:24 am
patiodog, lol

mesquite, great quote.

Scoates, amen.
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fishin
 
  1  
Reply Wed 31 Mar, 2004 08:25 am
Terry wrote:
fishin' wrote:
Terry wrote:
The Constitition specifically prohibits religious tests and oaths, and specifically prohibits the establishment of religion by Congress.


This argument didn't hold on page one and it still doesn't hold here.


I think it establishes the intent of the Founding Fathers pretty well. So what do you think these clauses in the Constitution mean?


It's not a matter of what the Constitution means. The "oaths" and "test" portion of your statement specifically refers to Article VI of the Constitution which you yourself quoted on page 1:

"The Senators and Representatives before mentioned, and the members of the several state legislatures, and all executive and judicial officers, both of the United States and of the several states, shall be bound by oath or affirmation, to support this Constitution; but no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States."

For the pledge to be considered a "religious test" as a qualification for office there would have to be something requiring that someone actually recite the pledge to take that office. Can you cite any such law/requirement? No one, anywhere in this country, is required to recite the pledge at any time. Nor is the Pledge an "oath or affirmation" as a condition of holding office.

The Pledge and anything it contaians has absolutely nothing to do with Article VI of the Constitution at all.
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rosborne979
 
  1  
Reply Wed 31 Mar, 2004 10:28 am
The article below contains a bit more history on the events which occurred in the 1950's which led to the "under God" change in the pledge (and how Legislators proposed constitutional amendments to declare that Americans obeyed "the authority and law of Jesus Christ.")

http://www.csmonitor.com/2004/0325/p09s02-coop.html
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dyslexia
 
  1  
Reply Wed 31 Mar, 2004 10:38 am
WAR
on communism
on poverty
on terrorsim
on drugs
on the people
the Soviet KGB (Committee of State Security - secret police) MVD (Ministry of Internal Affairs - police)
Homeland security
must be countered with "one nation-under god
prey on me.
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rosborne979
 
  1  
Reply Wed 31 Mar, 2004 10:38 am
I think that the "in god we trust" phrase resulted from the following events:

The U.S. Constitution was ratified in 1789 without a single "God" reference. The first legislative directives as to what appears on U.S. currency did not mention "God" (the directive included the word "Liberty", currency denomination and year, the eagle, and "United States of America"). The Civil War era National Reform Association (the first "NRA"), a Christian conservative group, formally petitioned Congress to change the Preamble of the Constitution to read (in part):

We, the people of the United States, humbly acknowledging Almighty God as the source of all authority and power in civil government, the Lord Jesus Christ as the Ruler among the nations, His revealed will as the supreme law of the land, in order to constitute a Christian government, and in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquillity...

Not surprisingly, this amendment did not get approved by Congress nor any state. In an end-around move, an NRA supported amendment was added to the statute proscribing what appears on U.S. currency. This amendment enabled the Director of the Mint to determine mottoes that could appear on U.S. coins. The Director of the Mint was an NRA member who promptly added the phrase "In God We Trust" to coins in 1865. When coins were redesigned in 1907, that motto was dropped in favor of "E Pluribus Unum" ("Out of many, one"). Religious factions made this a political issue and in 1909 Congress passed a law requiring "In God We Trust" be on all U.S. coins. Congress, again during the heat of the Cold War, passed a bill in 1955 requiring that "In God We Trust" appear on all U.S. bills as well.
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Foxfyre
 
  1  
Reply Wed 31 Mar, 2004 12:47 pm
The history of the United States is checkered with efforts by many to interject into law their particular religious beliefs or lack thereof. I am as vigorous as any of you in resisting efforts of that kind.

It does not follow, however, that should a law (or custom) compliment or be in agreement with a particular religious belief that it is necessarily flawed or favors a religious tenet, and it certainly is not an establishment of religion.

Unless anybody can show me scientific or even empircal evidence that the words 'In God we trust' on coinage or the phrase 'under God' in the Pledge of Allegience is a requirement of any person, adult or child, to be religious or believe anything, or that children are so impressionable that the phrase causes them to rush willy nilly into the nearest church or send up prayers to whatever diety, or that teachers have license to interject a Jewish or Christian or Islamic or whatever diety into the phrase, then I maintain the phrases themselves are not unconstitutional.

That some are fanatically religious and some despise or object to being exposed to anything religious is not a concern of the Constitution other than to say everybody is entitled to his/her own belief.
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Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Wed 31 Mar, 2004 12:48 pm
I could not agree less.
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Foxfyre
 
  1  
Reply Wed 31 Mar, 2004 01:15 pm
At least you're consistent Setanta. You haven't agreed with me on anything yet. Smile
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Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Wed 31 Mar, 2004 01:23 pm
Now i'm worried . . . i happen to agree with Mr. Self-Reliance that a foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of a petty mind. I can only plead that i haven't hunted down all of your posts, and so, do not know if i would always disagree with you. I can only say that i'm not yet indicted for a foolish consistency . . .
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mesquite
 
  1  
Reply Wed 31 Mar, 2004 01:26 pm
Foxfyre wrote:
The history of the United States is checkered with efforts by many to interject into law their particular religious beliefs or lack thereof. I am as vigorous as any of you in resisting efforts of that kind.

It does not follow, however, that should a law (or custom) compliment or be in agreement with a particular religious belief that it is necessarily flawed or favors a religious tenet, and it certainly is not an establishment of religion.

Unless anybody can show me scientific or even empircal evidence that the words 'In God we trust' on coinage or the phrase 'under God' in the Pledge of Allegience is a requirement of any person, adult or child, to be religious or believe anything, or that children are so impressionable that the phrase causes them to rush willy nilly into the nearest church or send up prayers to whatever diety, or that teachers have license to interject a Jewish or Christian or Islamic or whatever diety into the phrase, then I maintain the phrases themselves are not unconstitutional.

That some are fanatically religious and some despise or object to being exposed to anything religious is not a concern of the Constitution other than to say everybody is entitled to his/her own belief.

Judge Foxfyre,
Rather than ranting willy nilly, why not read the opinion of the Ninth Circuit and comment on whatever wording in the opinion you disagree with. It's really not that difficult to understand. The Ungodly Opinion
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